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-“De” Day- - CaptainSarathai
Ulgrik da Rambler gazed out across the gently rolling water of the bay, towards the glittering elven wall... and vomited. He longed to be on dry land, preferably atop that shiny wall, where he could kill all the blasted pointy-ears who sheltered on the other side. Growling, the Orc boss shook a meaty green fist at the wall’s impenetrable heights, and turned back to his rickety warship.
Everywhere, snotlings were being bossed about by the goblins, who were bossed about by orcs, who ate the snotlings at leisure, until they were bossed about by Ulgrik. That was something which Ulgrik could grin about- his ship was running in perfect order. His fangy smile widened as his SawBone came out of the hold. Gnobfinger was wiping bloody hands on an equally bloody apron, and smiling wildly.
“Did you wake da point-ear?” Ulgrik asked.
“Yah boss, it war ‘ard. ‘E was deadset on dyin’ on me a few times, but I fink I got ‘im unner control now.”
“Good,” the warboss grunted as he headed below decks, “I need dis one to live fer a while longer. We ‘as some talkin ter do indeed.”
“Orright pointy-ear. You is gonna tell me what I need ter know. Orright?” Ulgrik said.
The elf squirmed, tied as he was to the crates serving as an operating table. “I won’t tell you a thing. You’ll have to kill me.”
Ulgrik enjoyed this kind of defiance, and smiled. His breath stank of stale beer and raw meat, and he breathed it towards the elf as he sighed. “I was plannin on killin yer anyway. So it seems I gots ta make a different bargain wiv ya. How bout I kill ya wivout hurtin ya?”
The next day, Ulgrik readied his attack. A flag ran up on the splintered mast of his ship, and soon Goblins all throughout the flotilla were straining under rawhide whips to drag the different ships into a haphazard cluster. On the walls, the elves watched, and waited.
“Orright ladz!” Ulgrik bellowed, loudly enough that all of the Orcs assembled on the other decks could hear him, “We is gonna attack de Pointy-ears one more time. An’ I know dat dey’s been killin’ a lot of our lads each time, but dis time is gonna be different. Dis time, I has a plan dat’s gonna make sure dat we do a good job killin lots of DEM instead!”
The orcs gave a raucous cheer. A few of the dimmer, more exuberant Boyz leapt over the sides of the ships, trying to swim their way to the battle. Bosses, and brighter Orcs across the fleet, shouted for order and forbade anymore irrational actions. All orcs would go over the side holding one of the emptied barrels of dwarven stout. That way, they would at least stay afloat. More patient Orcs, or the weedy goblins, would be sent ashore in rowboats.
As soon as the Orcs began disembarking from the ships, the elves opened fire. Arrows thudded into the sides of Ulgrik’s ship. A handful of Orcs toppled over the rickety railings, pierced through by the thick bolts launched by Elven warmachines. This sent the goblins into a panicked frenzy, and suddenly the deck was awash with panicked green bodies.
“Get in da boats! Get into da boats you idits!” Ulgrik yelled, tossing goblins over the sides of the ship- very few of them landed in boats.
Finally sure that all of his boys had made it off the boats, Ulgrik plucked a lucky arrow from his shoulder, climbed into the last of the rafts, and ordered the startled goblins to row him to shore. On his way towards the beach, he saw his horde sheltering behind their barrels and overturned rafts, keeping still beneath the hail of ithilmar-tipped arrows.
“Waz da plan boss?” asked one of the bolder goblins in the boat, his back bent against the weight of the oar.
“Shhh! Can’t you see dat Boss is finkin?” shouted the helmsman.
A brief squabble broke out, rocking the boat back and forth. Ulgrik burst out above it all, standing to his full height atop the teetering raft and bashing the two nearest goblins into submission. Before he could stop the squabble however, the raft capsized, tumbling him into the frothy surf.
In another world, one of silence and bubbles, Ulgrik pondered his fate. He had rallied half a dozen tribes, and travelled thousands of miles, to kill Pointy-ears on their own turf. Now he was sinking beneath the waves because of a couple of uppity goblins. The air exploded from his lungs in a frustrated roar, bubbles racing towards the surface.
Suddenly his booted foot crushed against the sandy bottom of the bay. Mork was smiling on him, and with titanic strength, Ulgrik pushed himself forwards, walking across the bottom in his heavy armor.
His head broke the surface of the water, gasping for breath before another wave plunged him back into darkness. Resurfacing, and blinking the brine out of his eyes, he watched arrows splash around his head, and saw his boys pinned behind their meager cover. He charged up onto the beach, water dripping from around his fangs as though he were a sea monster.
His banner bearer ran up next to him, bravely being the first to leave cover and lead the pell-mell charge towards the gates.
“What’s da plan boss?” he panted as his half-eaten boots dug through the sand.
Ulgrik didn’t look at the blackorc beside him, “You wants to know de plan?” he panted back. The blackorc nodded.
“Ere’s de plan. I kilt da pointy-ear ‘cuz ‘e wouldn’t tell me nuffink. So I mades dis plan meself.”
“We gonna win wivout a plan?” the blackorc asked nonchalantly as another volley of arrows pelted down around them.
“Uv course we gonna win wivout a plan. Why?
Because today’s De DAY!”
Guardians of Hope - Vendraciese
The phoenix guard had sailed in at the setting of the sun. They had filed down the gangplank in complete silence, and they had marched straight to the palisades. The captain of the vessel had already cast off without giving a word of explanation and was on his way back to Ulthuan before the last glimmer of day had faded.
Apparently, the Phoenix king was anxious to keep his last foothold on the old world.
Now it was night, and across the plains the campfires of the Greenskin horde flickered and danced, and Valarian could hear their ferocious howls and raucous laughter resonate across the vast grassland as the orcs and goblins reveled in their own blood thirst. Valarian was standing outside the palisade, as he was wont to do on the eve of battles. Nobody noticed his absence. Nobody really cared if a minor noble of a minor house wanted to take childish risks. They all had better things to do
Valarian’s only company was a hired human worker - laboring restlessly on the palisades - and the phoenix guard lined up outside the walls, standing tall and majestic as their armour glittered in the torchlight. They reminded Valarian of the great menhirs of Ulthuan, holding back the storms of chaos, protecting not just the island but the whole world as well.
A particularly loud shout from the Orc camp and the sound of metal on metal revived his anxiousness. A guttural scream, cut off suddenly, caused him to tremble.
“By the Gods!” He whispered. “They’re killing each other!” The thought did nothing to comfort him. “What manner of creature desires violence so much as to kill their own kin?” He felt fear creeping across his heart, but just as the shadow seemed sure to overwhelm his soul he felt a strong hand upon his shoulder and a holy warmth seemed to wash over him. The nearest phoenix guard had noticed his trembling and had come over to bolster his courage. Looking into the eyes of the royal guardian, Valarian stood up straight and the fear vanished.
“Thank you,” He said, “I am glad that you and your companions are here to fight beside us.”
The stoic elf removed his hand from Valarian’s shoulder, only giving a slight nod to acknowledge Valarian’s words.
“Sometimes I wish that I knew what would happen on the morrow” Valarian said, “But… even if I did, would I have the courage to face it?”
The phoenix guard remained still, and Valarian was once again reminded of the vortex stones of Ulthuan. Just as with the stones, he could feel power radiating off of the silent figure of the phoenix guard. He began to contemplate what mysteries could possibly endow an elf with such an aura of strength and righteousness, but before he could ponder the question too long Valarian’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone talking in Reikspiel.
“Why doesn’t he say anything back?”
Valarian turned to look at the speaker. The human on the wall had stopped his work and was staring curiously at Valarian and the phoenix guard.
“He has taken a magical oath of silence,” Valarian answered. “All of the phoenix guard are blessed, or perhaps cursed, with knowledge of the future. They take the oath to protect that knowledge.”
The worker looked puzzled. “So… why don’t they just write a letter or something?”
“If you knew how you were going to die, would you want to tell anyone about it?”
The worker fell silent, and for a while the whole plain was quiet. Even the greenskins’ celebration seemed to have ended. The only sound was the wind, rushing mournfully through the grass. After a few minutes the worker broke the silence.
“So why are they standing outside the wall? Wouldn’t it make more sense if they stayed behind it?”
Valarian gave the worker a long look and then sighed. How was he going to explain it to this human? How could he convey what the phoenix guard really meant to his people? How could he put words to his own feelings? But even as he asked himself these questions the answer came to his mind.
“You could think of it as a symbol.” Valarian started, and as he started he could feel his confidence grow inside of him. He lifted his arm and pointed at the palisade. “Those walls of yours will keep out the orcs.” He lowered his arm and turned to face the phoenix guard. “They are here to keep out the dark.”
The worker remained silent so Valarian continued, walking slowly towards the east - away from the town - as he spoke. “Even if the walls did their job perfectly, if the people defending the walls lose hope then they are already defeated in their own hearts. Just as physical fortifications protect us from the enemy, the spiritual fortifications that the phoenix guard offer us will protect us from the horror and despair of war. The future is uncertain, and many are afraid that our kingdoms will soon crumble. The phoenix guard have seen the future, and still they remain resolute. Can we, who have not seen it, do any less?”
As Valarian finished his explanation, the plain grew so quiet that he could hear the breathing of the human behind him.
“You‘re saying that some of these folks know that tomorrow they are going to die… and they’re still standing here? That’s why you elves admire them?”
“Yes. They are the guardians of our hope.”
And with that simple phrase Valarian Yonerras, minor noble of a minor house, turned his back on the Orc encampment and started walking towards the gate. Maybe it was a trick of the light, but it seemed to him that, as he passed, a single tear rolled down the cheek of the phoenix guard that had stood next to him. When he looked again, though, the guardians face was as stern and stoic as ever.
Captain Sarathai, Orc with rickety warship=win! I was laughing all the way through. I could see the whole colorful scene and I loved it. The end too, with the warboss coming up out of the deep. Really nice.
Vendraciese. Somber. Your story made a good(obviously unintentional) counter-point to the Captains. It drew me in and I liked the device of using the human worker. I can't find any fault with it and while I thought for a moment it was lacking life after re-reading it I found it really seems to fit the mood and feel of the elves. A race lost to inevitability.
The legions of Palos[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Vendraciese, you forgot the siege. You showed an interesting side of the elves, but the story's almost completely devoid of action.
Captain Sarathai, on the other hand has presented us with a delightful tale that's a perfect blend of characters, story, action, and even incorporates a few different scenes into the mix. Easily my favorite story of the first round.
Captain Sarathai 5/5
Last edited by mynameisgrax; April 15th, 2010 at 14:19.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
I'm inclined to agree with Palos as I love the way Ulgrik has his own cunning plan (I'd never have thought of an Orc at sea), and Valarian looks out from the fortfied camp into the night wondering what the coming day has in store, which really got me thinking.
Captain Sarathai: 5/5
"The nature of Mon Keigh was irrepressible!"
-“De” Day- - CaptainSarathai
Well written as usual, and with a bit of a nod to real-world historical events. And I can't not like Orcs.
Guardians of Hope - Vendraciese
Damn it, now I don't know what to do. I really like this one, the fact you've chosen to look at the calm before the storm, as it were. Very well done.
CaptainSarathai - 4/5
Vendraciese - 5/5
This had to be the hardest one to pick, for me. Well done to both of you!
Your piece is well written and shows the many facets of Orc cunning, but overall it feels that it's trying to cram too much in. I would rather have seen a fully expanded interrogation or assault scene. I didn't really like the pun either, but it's Orcs, sort of comes with the package.
You captured the noble fatalism of the High Elves almost perfectly. My only complaint would be that the human labourer comes a bit out of left field, but then again such a viewpoint is required for the story to achieve its full impact.
I'm glad my story is being so well accepted but I have to say that the Captains story is a whole lot more fun than mine. A barrel of fun. With some goblins clinging to the sides even. Orcs and goblins are always fun to read, but the unexpectedness of them floating around was so cool. This fluff war is soooo awesome and I'm glad I get to read so many excellent stories. Thanks for the experience guys. This is sure to keep me coming back to LO for a while yet.
Last edited by VenDraciese; April 15th, 2010 at 19:18.
Well crap, I've been putting this off for too long but I might as well throw in my vote. Let me see
Gotta say I loved the story. I really felt the hopelessness of Valarian then felt it being built back up as he explained the role of the phoenix guard to not only the worker but to himself as well.
First let me say the fluff shop is awesome, I've gone back and reread probably every post in that thread 3 or 4 times. This piece of fluff was awesome as usual. Love me some orcs, love how it it had 3 different scenes in it without feeling crowded.
Green iz da' BEST!
Orkz is made fer' two fings! Fightin', and winnin'!
Ok, so Vendraciese wins by half a point:
So very close!